It is Memorial Day and it is the final day of the Forty Days that I committed unto the Lord to intercede in the Power of His Holy Spirit and record those Prayers on this blog. I began this spiritual discipline not really knowing why or what the purpose of it was and didn’t even think about the fact that I started it on the 22nd day of the month until after I began. The 22nd day of the month will always be significant to me in some way because it is the day of the month that my husband Steve passed away 5 1/2 years ago.
This morning I realized that I started this journey on the 22nd of the month and am finishing it on Memorial day. How interesting, I thought to myself, I am certain that the Lord put this project on my heart with these dates in mind in order for me to connect a Spiritual application in my heart and mind and soul. There are no coincidences for God is in control of everything. He is always at work in our lives transforming us and shaping us and molding us according to His Plans….I am quite certain He is well pleased with us when we inquire of Him of what it is He is up to….We know that All thing work together for His plans and purposes and that His Plans for us are Good.
God’s Word teaches us so much …. Persecution…Sacrifice…….Death……Resurrection…… NEW LIFE…..I am so thankful for His sacrificial Love for us….the gift of His one and only Son.
On this Memorial Day I am reminded of all who gave of themselves to serve our Country in the Armed Forces, of those who lost their lives in their selfless acts of protecting our Country and of all of those who are mourning the loss of loved ones who are no longer with us here on earth, whether they were a part of the Armed Forces or not. As I think of the reality of the pain of loss and the heart of sacrifice that those in the Armed Forces and others have died for I wind up thinking of Jesus Christ. I think of His sacrifice and obedience of carrying out the Will of His Father. I think of the New Life that I have because of that. As I rest in that thought, a lump rises up in my throat and I am humbled greatly at the gift we have been given through Jesus Christ. The same lump that always rises up in my heart along with the tears that slip down my cheek when I stand at attention with my hand on my heart and sing the National Anthem to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom rises up in me as I think of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ…..
I am so thankful for those that live their lives to give of themselves in ways beyond their understanding or human abilities. I am so thankful for Jesus Christ. For, it is the Heart of Jesus Christ that lives in us that gives us the ability to sacrifice our lives for the lives of others and it His heart is us that draws us through the Power of the Holy Spirit to live a life that Honors and Glorifies God and not just ourselves.
Lord, it is our final day of forty days together seeking to draw closer to You and to feel the Power of Your Presence and the Peace of a life that lives to Honor and Glorify You. You are with us, You have been with us, and You have met us in our desires and in our needs. You have answered the cries of our hearts in so many many ways. We thank You Lord for that and We Praise Your Holy Name. You have whispered to our hearts of Your Love and Your Truths and You have Faithfully intertwined and divinely aligned our Hearts with Yours..
We have been humbled, we have been convicted, we have been encouraged, we have been challenged, we have been inspired and we have been transformed by the Power of Your Love and Your Mercy and Your Grace. We acknowledge You in all our ways and we ask that You would continue to keep Your hand of protection on us protecting us from ourselves, our enemies, and the enticements of the World and its entanglements. May Your Holy Spirit continue to draw us closer and closer to You and keep our hearts in alignment with You, our paths straight, and to live our lives in accordance with Your Holy Word.
We lay down our tendency towards selfishness, any ambition that is rooted in pride, and our habitual habits of trying to live and breathe and move in the power of our own strength and not Yours. We are sinners Lord and we acknowledge our inability to live our lives without Your continual outpouring of power, strength, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. We thank You for Your Faithfulness in renewing us daily as we spend intimate personal time with You. We repent of our sins and we accept Your Forgiveness. Through the Power of Your Holy Spirit may You continually remind us of our need to repent of our sins that our hearts might be dept free of the clutter that is caused by sin. Help us prioritize our time and set aside time for You.
I am in awe of the blessed reality of the truth that tho I lost my husband and the father to my boys You Oh Lord have given me new life, You have healed my heart and I shall live an abundantly blessed life of Hope and Joy and Peace because of what You have done in my life. I shall have many new adventures and new opportunities and an even deeper and more profound understanding of who You are Oh Lord and I shall continue to see the miracles You are doing in the lives of Your precious Children. Thank You Lord that no matter what the hurt or what the loss or what the pain, You are the great Physician….You heal our hearts, You heal our wounds, You heal our health and You heal the damage done by the lies of the enemy and the world. Thank You Lord God for all the ways You are healing the hearts and minds and souls of Your Precious Children who have journeyed on this blog for the past forty days. We all have hurts, we all have habits that do not Honor and Glorify You, we all have needs that need to be given to You and not held on to, and we all have at least one person in our lives that we know is not right with You that we have been interceding and praying for.. There is none like You Lord God…We give You all the Glory and all the Honor for what You are doing in our lives and the lives of those we know and love and those we have not yet met.
I will never forget this picture that is forever etched in my mind of my husband Steve’s last few days here on earth. He was laying on the hospice bed speaking the words that would become the legacy that certainly he never planned. He looked me deep in the eyes with a softness and a gentleness and a love I had never seen through him and he asked me to use his life to make a difference after he was gone. He asked me to be his voice to speak the truth to others of what God brought him to understand through the pain and sacrifice of giving up his life here on earth to go home to be with God. He gave me permission to use all of his life in complete and total vulnerability of the truth of it to make a difference in the lives of others. He was one who did not believe in Jesus Christ or Heaven or Hell…..it didn’t make sense to Him…In the end these are the words that He spoke and I quote….. “It is easier to believe than not to believe and when you believe you have Peace.”
Steve had told me several years before he ever got sick that he wanted to be remembered as a man who owned big airplanes and flew them, that was the legacy he wanted to leave behind because those were the passions he pursued all his life. Little did He know that God was pursuing Him all of those years and in the end He died as a man of God leaving behind a legacy alright, a legacy of Faith and not airplanes.
You see, Steve spent his life choosing to honor and glorify himself, his abilities and the pursuit of his pleasures rather than Honoring and Glorifying God. He continually put his needs and desires ahead of others and lived a life to serve himself. As Cancer took his health and his strength he was faced with more regret than anyone should ever have to embrace for all the choices he had made throughout his life, but through the process of his rapid decline in health He found the Acceptance, Forgiveness, Love and Peace that he had spent years trying to find without success. He found an Intimate Personal Loving Relationship with Jesus Christ…..
He asked me to speak for him and so I choose today, Memorial Day to grant him his dying request.. “Tell all the men out there that love and family and friends are more important than anything in life and not to spend their lives trying to pursue what they believe is important…… Listen to your wife.”
A I contemplated bit and pieces of these thoughts asking God what He would have me speak on this fortieth day of Prayer on this blog, He whispered to my heart Luke:24 Luke 24 is the story of the Power of believing….and it is the story of the power of Jesus Christ to open the eyes of our understanding to see Him in every way. I watched God do that in amazing and miraculous ways in the life of my husband Steve. It was a painful and yet glorious gift to watch a man give up his will and his life and to surrender himself to Jesus Christ knowing that he had had the opportunity and gift many times before and refused to accept it. Steve died with regret. I pray that you would have no regrets and would be at complete and total Peace with God and those you know and love if your life were to end today.
My heart for this blog and for the reminder of my life left here on earth no matter where that may take me or what I might do is….that all of God’s Children may come to know the incredible depth and width and breadth of the Love of Christ, that all may see Him at work in their lives in all ways and believe that His plans for His Children are good and He is not finished with any of us yet…..
My prayer is that somehow God has used me to be his hands and heart extended to you and that You in turn continue to take the time to pray each day and intercede for those that you know and love and those that you haven’t met yet. I pray that God will bless your lives abundantly and intertwine them through many divine interventions of His provisions, opportunities, circumstances and relationships.
I pray that each of us will continue to pray for this Country that we call The United States of America and that we would all pray that the words In God We Trust become the foundation of our Nation just as Jesus Christ is the foundation of our lives. In Jesus Name…..Amen